GPP Frequently Asked Questions
These are answers to the questions we get on a regular basis. If you don't see yours answered here—or on one of the other pages on this site—email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Green Power Providers hotline at (866) 673-4340.
What is Green Power Providers?
Green Power Providers (GPP) is a TVA renewable energy program that promotes the generation of green power through the installation of small-scale renewable energy systems. GPP replaced the Generation Partners pilot program initiated in 2003 as a result of requests from users of TVA power for “net metering” standards in the TVA service territory.
TVA created GPP as a “dual metering” option, an alternative to net metering. With the GPP program, there are two meters at the consumer’s location; the billing meter and the new generation meter measuring the power produced by the green energy system. TVA purchases 100 percent of the energy generated by the participant to support TVA’s Green Power Switch program.
Green Power Switch is an energy option that allows local power companies throughout the Tennessee Valley to provide their customers the choice to buy electricity produced by renewable resources. TVA-owned generation in the Green Power Switch program includes solar, wind and biogas. See more information on Green Power Switch.
What are the benefits of participation in Green Power Providers?
Program participants support the environment by helping keep the Tennessee Valley clean and green. For example, a 3 kilowatt (kW) system’s annual benefits are equal to planting an acre of trees or taking a car off the road for four months.
In addition, renewable energy systems help improve air quality by reducing emissions of fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. Participants also benefit by receiving payment for all generation produced, thus reducing their monthly energy bill and can help offset the cost of the small-scale renewable energy installation.
How do I sign up for Green Power Providers?
You can become a Green Power Provider by following these steps:
- Contact your local power company to make sure it participates in Green Power Providers and understand the Green Power Providers program guidelines on the TVA website to ensure the renewable generation system you would like to install qualifies.
- Apply via the online application tool.
- Review and sign the Participation Agreement.
- After you receive approval from TVA and the local power company, purchase and install the generation system. Keep in mind that solar photovoltaic must be completed by installers who have completed and passed at minimum the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) associate-level installer examination.
- Get approval from your local power company.
- Start generating power to receive payments.
Read more about signing up in How the Program Works.
Is there a deadline to get my system installed?
The generating system must be installed and approved by the local power company within 180 calendar days of TVA’s approval of the participation agreement. This information can be found in section 2.1 of the participation agreement. Solar installations approved by TVA must be designed, inspected, and approved by a renewable energy professional that has passed the NABCEP associate-level exam at a minimum. NABCEP is an acronym for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (www.nabcep.org). The system must comply with environmental regulations and national standards, be certified by a licensed electrician, and comply with all applicable codes.
What if I can't get my system installed within the six months allowed in the participation agreement?
Systems that are not installed and approved by the local power company within 180 calendar days of TVA approval will have to reapply in line with other applications, subject to the terms and conditions of the program at the time the local power company approves the Capacity Reservation Request.
Where can customers buy renewable systems? Is there a list of qualified vendors?
TVA does not recommend nor require specific contractors and installers. However, it does recommend researching contractors to ensure quality work. Any system approved for the program must be installed by either a NABCEP associate- or professional-level certified installer. System sizing tips, cost estimations, supplier/installer information, and related information can be researched at the following websites:
- North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners
- Consumer Energy Council of America, Distributed Energy Forum
- Florida Solar Energy Center (Click on Research)
- Tennessee Solar Energy Association
- National Association of State Energy Officials
- North Carolina Solar Center
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Solar Electric Power Association Low Impact Hydropower Institute
- Biomass Magazine
- Solar Energy Industries Association
NOTE: The listings provided here are for informational purposes only. The listing of any group or organization is not to be considered as an endorsement by TVA. TVA assumes no responsibility for actions taken by the mentioned groups or organizations. Be sure to call your local power company before purchasing and installing a renewable generation source.
Do all power local companies participate in the Green Power Providers program?
Participation in the program is entirely at the discretion of the local power company. Go to Participating Local Power Companies for more information. If your local power company isn’t currently a participant in the program, let them know you are interested in installing renewable generation at your home or business.
What are the specific connection requirements?
Customers must submit an interconnection application to their local power company. The local power company will determine whether the project can be fast-tracked or if the project must undergo a feasibility study to determine the impact on the distribution system. Local power companies may alter the proposed interconnection procedures and agreement drafted by TVA to suit their local guidelines or processes. Program participation and interconnection approval is subject to local power company approval. Contact your power company for more information.
How much will the generation system cost?
The typical costs associated with a solar system can vary based on several factors including the system size, location, panel and inverter quality, roofing conditions, available incentives and several other factors. Please refer to the Tennessee Valley Solar Calculator to calculate an average cost and to learn more about the costs and payback associated with owning a solar system.
Are there ways to help pay for installations?
- Federal tax credits (these are subtracted from the total tax liability, in contrast to a tax deduction):
- Solar—30% residential and commercial tax credit with no cap through December 31, 2019. The credit is reduced to 26% for projects beginning in 2020 and 22% for projects beginning in 2021. After 2021 the credit will remain at 10% for commercial projects. The credit will be eliminated for residential projects after December 31, 2021.
- State tax credits—vary by state
- Property tax credits—vary by state
- Additional information regarding federal and state incentives is available at the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) website or at U.S. Department of Energy.
- Financing for solar installations may be available through a financial institution.
How do I get paid for my solar power generation?
Payment to the participant for generation is usually issued in the form of a credit on the participant’s monthly power bill by the local power company, which owns the meters that track both the power use of the home or business as well as the output of the renewable generation system. The power company provides monthly statements showing energy used and any applicable credit due. The power bill is reconciled monthly with these energy credits.
The local power company may choose to carry over each month’s credit to the next bill, then make payment of a lump sum for the cumulative credit at the end of 12 months.
Can renters or those leasing property participate?
Renters and those leasing property can participate in the GPP program. The site where the system is located needs to be associated personal property to which the qualifying system is connected, the address of which is identified under the participant’s power billing account.
Does TVA require liability insurance?
TVA does not require liability insurance; however each local power company maintains their own requirements regarding liability insurance. Please check with your local power company to discuss their specific requirements.
Are there guidelines regarding aesthetics for the GPP installation?
TVA does not have any specific guidelines regarding the aesthetics of your GPP installation.